The subject of substance use and abuse will be discussed in detail in this write-up. The research paper will expound on the subject at hand using at least a single sub-cultural theory which completely relates to it. The first section of the paper will provide a critical introduction of the topic of deviance and will go ahead to describe the major reasons of choosing to apply the sub-cultural perspective as well as its theories in expounding the whole of the issue at hand. The subsequent section involves a deeper analysis of the literature review. In this section of the research paper, it will be required to discuss in detail the materials concerning the issue while still stating those absent in case there are any.
Moving forward, the paper will focus on a personally-based development of a theoretical image concerning the issue at hand. The next section involves a detailed analysis into the elements which concern the issue that includes the causes for transmitting substance abuse taking into account the explanation of various consequences associated with the sub-cultural perspective. The paper will then go ahead to provide a research analysis aimed at providing specific recommendations or rather suggestions to media executives, entertainment stakeholders, health professionals, and/or entertainers themselves regarding subculture, substance use, and behavioral change. The final section of the research will provide a well thought out conclusion which implication goes beyond determining the facts as well as the omissions which could have been omitted while still conducting the research analysis.
In a more general term, it has been noted, through extensive forms of research that the consumption and utilization of substances are on the increasing phase of their initial stages across the globe. It is argued that this unfortunate trend involves about 20 million people in total of more than 120 countries in general. This occurrence has been aided through the ever changing techniques of production, consumption as well as administration of the illicit drugs. Taking for example the substance use of heroine, it is estimated that it has surpassed the 100 mark in terms of those countries whose population is actively engaged in it. However, the trend of its consumption is clearly increasing particularly with the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Among the youngest people, the issue of substance use and abuse has been fully attributed to the aspect of entertainment.
This has been made possible through the exposure to different forms of mass media which have subsequently influenced their respective attitudes, values and other forms of negative behaviors as a whole. There are various sub-cultural models which have been formulated to define as well as expound on the different forms of deviances and crime. In this case it is safe to indicate that the various sub-cultural perspectives have been well used in the past to explain this deviance phenomenon.
There are basically two sub-cultural perspectives which incorporate reactive and independent perspectives. In reactive sub-cultures the members of the sub-cultural group are perceived to develop norms and beliefs which are congruent to the existing norms and beliefs of the wider society while in the independent sub-cultural perspective, members of a particular group are perceived to be adopting particular set of norms and beliefs which are self-contained to the group alone. However, concerning the topic under study, the theory of conflict sub-culture and retreatist sub-cultures takes the center stage as they take to explain the various ways through which Cloward and Ohlin have successfully deployed to expound on the phenomenon of substance use and abuse especially among the younger generation.
In a retreatist sub-culture the youth and adolescents who have failed in their respective quest to join any of the legitimate or illegitimate gang end up opting for a retreat into the practice of substance use and abuse as well as alcoholism. They take this channel because they tend to believe that by doing so they are not engaged into the major forms of criminality. Since the entertainment industry purports to affect the youth and adolescents more than any other age group within the population, the research paper will therefore attempt to examine the influential role the entertainment industry portrays to both the youth and the adolescents at large.
According to research report conducted by the office of National Drug Control Policy (2002), entertainment platforms which included listening and watching music formed a greater intensity of concern especially among the adolescents. It is further noted that through the entertainment industry, the youth is either encouraged to continue with the use and abuse of substance or start using it by those who have not started using it altogether. The entrainment industry has continued to play a greater role in influencing the youth and fanatics at large into substance use and abuse. This form of entrainment industry has been specifically narrowed to the phenomenon of listening and watching music videos. As much as listening to music forms the major form for which influences are portrayed, the aspect of watching music videos seals the notion completely as it portrays to the youth and adolescents at large. It is a crucial fact to recognize that popular music comprises of so many genres of music such as hard-core rap, metals and softer ballads of pop forms some of the well known types of popular music genres altogether. In a research conducted by the Christenson and Henriksen (2002), it was found out that there were generally crucial fact findings which related to those happenings which the media depict in relation to illicit drugs, alcohol or other forms of substance abuse. The main aim of the study was to find out whether there was any influential role of music videos (a form within the music entertainment industry) to the appealing of substance use and abuse among the young adults and adolescents.
A sample of about 300 popular videos from the popular U.S. music television networks, that is, BET, MTV and VH-1, were used during a period of six weeks. The substances which were included in the music industry were categorized into the illicit drug, alcohol, over-the counter prescription as well as prescription drugs which comprised of unidentified pills. The study further considered whether there were any forms of substance use and abuse within this popular music videos. The research also took to expound on whether the substance use and abuse was a dominant occurrence in the themes of these music videos under study (Christenson & Henriksen, 2002).
The results indicated that substance use scenes were portrayed at a mark of 45 % of the overall sample of about 300 videos and were subsequently referred to verbally in a mark of 33%. It was further found out that the mentioning of illicit drugs was much more likely to be referred verbally than they were visually portrayed, while alcohol was likely to be portrayed in these music videos than it was verbally implicated (Christenson & Henriksen, 2002).
Further research into the topic under study showed that the chances of illicit drugs being consumed during the respective music visualization were much more likely as compared to other drugs in general. The main characters in these music videos were portrayed to use this forms of drugs more likely compared to the secondary characters who formed a percentage of only 7 % in total. Alcohol which was the most consumed drug covered 37 % of the total samples used. In these music videos 17% of the main characters took to consuming the drug while still singing, while 27 % of the secondary characters formed part of the aforementioned statistics altogether (Christenson & Henriksen, 2002).
While it is was safe to indicate from the research conducted that compared to other forms of media like television programs and motion pictures, absolute figures were recorded in terms of those music videos which portrayed substance use and abuse. Alcohol, the most predominant substance used incorporated 98 % and 77% of both movies and television programs respectively (Christenson &Henriksen, 2002).
It also seems reasonable to indicate that when these forms of substance use and abuse were implicated, it was used to portray the notion that it formed part of the day-to-day undertakings of people especially when socializing. The music videos also took to portray the finding that when substance was being used then it was pleasant and very rewarding in nature. There were no other forms of positive and negative elements which were attributed with these consumptions as a whole.
As much as the research took to expound on the relation which music videos impounds on influencing the youth and the young adults generation, it was limited in its findings to figure out the exact causes which lead them to performing so since engaging in substance use and abuse, they were not depending on the issue of perceiving or rather listening. This is further evidenced by the category of the youth and young adults that listening and watching the music videos was a way of being entertained was and they were not affected in any way by the drugs and substance use perception within the music videos altogether. The prevailing dominance of the youth and the young adults into their participation of the various substance and drug abuse is clearly depicted by the fact they tend to retreat or rather rebel against the stipulated norms of the wider society. For instance, rap music videos indicated that consumption of substance and drug was not just for pleasure but also a way of rebelling against various rules and regulations which had been postulated by the most current governing body.
Lyrics implicated by this form of popular music indicated that when the youth and other young adults formed gangs then they were acting towards preventing the wider society from humiliations and exploitations. The rebellion attitude was guarded jealously as these groups took to even execute those individual members who were purported to disengage from that way of life altogether.
The phenomenon was also attributed to the sub-cultural perspective of functionalism whereby the youth and other young adults engaged in this type of behavior as a way of searching for their respective daily needs terming the substance use and abuse as an innovation which they could use to support their families. A good example of this phenomenon is the late Notorious B.I.G, a very popular rap music entertainer who used to write lyrics promoting substance use and abuse as a way of meeting his basic family needs.